Nguyễn Hữu An

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Nguyễn Hữu An
Born October 1, 1926
Truong Yen Commune, Gia Vien District (Hoa Lu), Ninh Binh Province
Died April 9, 1995 (aged 68)
Hanoi
Allegiance Flag of Vietnam.svg Vietnam
Service/branch Flag of Vietnam.svg Vietnam People's Army
Years of service 1945–1995
Rank Colonel General
Unit Battalion 251
Regiment 174
Division 1
Division 308
2nd Corps
Commands held Vietnam People's Army
Battles/wars First Indochina War
Vietnam War
Awards Independence Order
Military Exploits Orders
Liberation Military Exploits Order
Victory Order

Nguyễn Hữu An (October 1, 1926 – April 9, 1995) was a general in the Vietnamese People's Army. Nguyễn was portrayed by actor Đơn Dương in the 2002 film We Were Soldiers.

Overview[edit]

An was born in the Truong Yen Commune of the Hoa Lư District, Ninh Binh, Vietnam. He joined the People's Army of Vietnam in September 1945.

In the First Indochina War, An took part in several decisive battles. He participated in the battles of Bong Lau Pass and Lung Phay in 1949. The following year he took part in the Border Campaign, he was commander of Battalion 251- a key battalion of Regiment 174 (Cao Bac Lang Regiment), attacking and eliminating Dong Khe military post, which seized initial victory of the Campaign. He successively held titles of battalion commander, regiment deputy commander of victorious battles in Binh Lieu, Vĩnh Phúc, and Moc Chau. In the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, he was commander of Regiment 174 of Division 316, and three times took offensive attacks on Hill A1 (Éliane). On May 7, 1954 Regiment 174, under his command, completely eliminated the entrenched fortification of Hill A1, opening offensive lines into Muong Thanh field to put an end to the battle of Dien Bien Phu.

In the Vietnam War (aka "The American War")[edit]

In the Vietnam War, An commanded North Vietnamese forces in the Battle of Ia Drang. In 1974 he was promoted to Major General.

Ho Chi Minh Campaign[edit]

In 1975, Major General Nguyen Huu An was Commander of 2nd Corps (Huong Giang Corps). 2nd Corps, under his command, successively captured Quảng Trị, Huế; and in combination with armed forces of Military Region No.5 defeated nearly 100.000 regular troops of the ARVN within just 3 days in Da Nang united military base, he then commanded the entire corps to march along nearly 1000 km to engage in the Ho Chi Minh Campaign after having destroyed the remote defensive line of the Sai Gon's army in Phan Rang.

In the last decisive fight to capture Saigon, 2nd Corps under the command of Nguyen Huu An was one of five wings to Saigon, who quickly planted the red flag onto top of the Independence Palace at 11h 30 on 30 April 1975.

In postwar time[edit]

After the end of the Vietnam War, An continued serving in the Vietnamese military. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant General in 1980. Six years later, he was promoted to Colonel General. He held key posts in military such as Assistance Inspector General of the Vietnam People's Army, Deputy Chief concurrently Chief of Staff and Acting Commander of Military Region No.2 (1984–1987), Director of Army Academy (1988–1991), and Director of Academy of National Defense (1991–1995). He died in 1995.

He is called the "General of Battles" by famed General Vo Nguyen Giap.

Awards[edit]

The Communist Party of Vietnam and State of Vietnam awarded him with:

  • Independence Order of First-Class
  • Two Military Exploits Orders of First-Class
  • Military Exploits Order of Third-Class
  • Liberation Military Exploits Order of Third-Class
  • Two Exploits Orders of First and Second-Class
  • Victory Order of Second-Class

Notes[edit]